2005 10 01


SHIBUMI evades the 2005 Hurricane season

May:  St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Our plan to depart for Fort Lauderdale in the second week of May is postponed by tropical storm Adrian which is brewing in the Pacific off Central America.  She is expected to cross west to east over Central America and head for the Old Bahamas Channel which, of course, means that she will intersect with us!

So we delay our departure for a week until Hurricane Adrian blows itself out.  On Sunday, May 22nd, we sail from Honeymoon Bay, by the Spanish Virgin Islands, and encounter the squall from Hades off Puerto Rico.  Chris reminds Jackie how to steer running from the storm as the double thunderstorm pictured above develops while Jackie photographs the horizon with sails, rain and spray flying!

May:  Mona and the Old Bahamas Channel

When Jackie arrived for her 0900 watch as SHIBUMI sailed between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, she discovered that she had been replaced on Chris’s attention list. A small dehydrated bird, which we quickly named Mona for the famous passage we were crossing, had flown onboard and captured Chris’s heart. 

Mona spent the day eating grapes that Chris sliced for her,  sipping water, and chasing Chris around the vessel.  She slept all night on the back of a chair in the saloon with Chris forgiving her small poops on the carpet.  It had to be love.  Thirty-six hours after Mona took over our ship, she flew out and back several times and then headed toward Cuba, now a short distance away.

June:  Fort Lauderdale FL and Wilmington NC

After a hot but safe six day journey, SHIBUMI docked in Fort Lauderdale on Memorial Day Weekend, Sunday, May 29th at 1330.  We checked in with US Customs by phone after berthing at the City Marina on New River.  They explained that we would then have to go to US Immigration within 24 hours to check in.  Most of Monday we waited in line at the temporary office until the officers causally informed us that we did not have to announce our arrival since we departed from a US territory.  This was our first indication that Homeland Security did not coordinate its efforts at all.

Jackie departed to house-sit in North Carolina while Chris and two new crew members sailed to Wilmington to coordinate yet another round of antifouling at our old friend, Bennett Brothers Boatyard.

July:  Beaufort, NC    

Two maintenance issues forced us to delay our arrival in Beaufort NC so we rescheduled our trip to attend the hit performance of King Mackerel and the Blues Are Running with Jackie’s high school buddy and good friend, Bland Simpson.  Quite a great evening of fun and frolicking!    Hard to believe that the first time Jackie attended this performance was 1985.  It was a real treat to entertain the cast aboard SHIBUMI for lunch after we finally did arrive in the anchorage off Town Creek Marina!

Our home port of Beaufort NC continues to be one of our favorite stops.  There is a rumor around this town that SHIBUMI will receive a Notice of Race for the 2006 Tall Ships Regatta scheduled for the first week of July next summer.  Depending on what the 2006 hurricane season brews, we may sail the 1,300 miles to match our wits against Horatio Sindbad and his winning racer, Maco.

July:  Edgartown MA Tues 19th

Once again, we wait for two days in Beaufort as heavy thunderstorms cross over us on June 12-13th.  Then our crewmember for the ride to Martha’s Vineyard, Laura Leigh, arrives and we sail for New England.

Edgartown is one of Jackie’s all-time favorite anchorages:  locals are friendly, the public library accommodates transients with temporary cards and free wireless connections 23/7, bus drivers are helpful, and there is a free bus route to the only grocery store in town.  The flat terrain encourages you to rent bikes and ride over the Chappaquiddick Ferry after you have transported yourself all over the main island by the friendliest bus service in the USA. 

July:  Vineyard Haven MA

Home of The Black Dog Cafe, Vineyard Haven is a dry community which requires you to “bring your own bottle” to dinner.  The hub of ferry service to major ports on the mainland, Vineyard Haven also hosts two tall ships owned by the Black Dog Cafe proprietor.  Evening sails in the mist and the fog as depicted here are frequent.

At the island’s central Visitor’s Center, you will find bus service to everywhere else on the island, but most frequently folks travel to Oak Bluffs, Martha Vineyard’s Coney Island, to enjoy walking through the Methodist campgrounds and to eat at the multitude of restaurants.  The nation’s oldest continuing running child carousel is available for a ride if you are under 16.  Here you learn where the expression:  “Grab the brass ring” originated.   The local Public Library is newer but not friendlier than Edgartown’s. 

July:  Woods Hole MA

As we sailed between mainland New England and the offshore islands, we stopped several times in Woods Hole where Chris had spent many childhood summers.

These trips were memory lanes for Chris as we were lucky enough to secure a guest mooring at the Woods Hole Yacht Club. We also enjoyed several meals ashore at one of Chris’s old haunts.

One of our most memorable adventures involved the armed Coast Guard escorts for the Vineyard Haven Ferry, an example of Homeland Security’s random security efforts.  Still it is overwhelming to watch a 18 year old aim a bazooka at you from a boat length away. 

July:  New Bedford MA

We first took possession of SHIBUMI at Fairhaven Shipyard after her first refit in 1996 so we were excited to return to familiar territory after more than nine years.

New Bedford Harbor is enclosed by a storm barrier, as pictured on the left, designed to prevent mainland damage in case of a hurricane.  The harbor itself is dominated by private moorings and anchoring is limited.

New Bedford hosted a huge whaling economy during the 19th century and boasts a creative and informative downtown area.  The New Bedford Whaling Museum focuses on the mammals themselves.

August:  Nantucket MA

Nantucket is most Northeast barrier island on the US East coast.  The locals are descendants from a long line of seafaring, especially whaling, adventurers.  Indians living on Nantucket showed the original settlers how to harvest whales that drifted ashore.  In an eerie parallel to our oil crisis now, before the invention of the light bulb, whale oil was used to light the civilized world.  At least until they depleted the whale supply.

We found the mega-yachts from Antigua and Sint Maartin in the pricey marinas ashore.   We also discovered a second whaling museum focused on the whaling industry, rather than the whales.  The esteemed CLAM public library resided in a restored Nantucket town hall.

September:  Newport RI

Home of the America’s Cup and the mansions of the movers and shakers of the 19th century, Newport is more relaxed and inviting than one would guess.  A local suggested that we tie our dinghy to the Elm St dock where the locals congregate to fish when the blues run the pier.  Close to the bus terminal and visitor’s center which is the heart of town, our almost private dinghy dock provided us with many days ashore exploring the sights.

One of which, unique to Newport, is the tour of the mansions built by the wealthy of the 19th century.  Used as summer homes for only a few weeks per year, the mansions reflect the glory and the decadence of days long gone. Newport remains one of the best ports we visited this summer.

October:  Annapolis MD

Under advice from several locals, we moved SHIBUMI from her anchorage next to the US Naval Academy to the most interior spot of Spa Creek that we could navigate.  Here we spent three weeks, one of which during the US Sailboat Show, among traditional sailboats, moorings, traditional homes, and other transients who escaped the wrath of the weather as it whipped through Annapolis.

Annapolis ranks high on Jackie’s list due to their town policy to provide a dinghy dock at the end of any street which butts into Spa Creek.  Garbage bins are also provided.  This is unique to the US and un-heard-of in Europe.  Unfortunately the public library does not support wireless internet but several cafes around the inner-harbor allow customers to access their wireless hot-spots.

Updated Pages:
bullet Voyage Summary
bullet Port Summary
bullet Crew

New Pages: 

bullet Edgartown, MA
bullet Nantucket, MA
bullet Vineyard Haven, MA
bullet New Bedford, MA
bullet Newport, RI
bullet Annapolis, MD
bullet Baltimore, MD
bullet Beaufort, NC
bullet Wilmington, NC
bullet Fort Lauderdale, FL
bullet Thanksgiving, 2005
bullet 2005 Christmas Greeting

Hit Counter  

2003 Horta, Azores
2003 People of Azores
2003 Galicia, Spain
2003 Rias Biaxas, Spain
2003 Porto and Lisbon
2003 Rota, Spain
2004 Andalucia, Spain
2004 Gibraltar to Mallorca
2004 The Baleares
2004 Western Med
2004 Canary Islands
2005 British Virgin Islands
2005 New England USA
2006 Cruise to Venezuela
2007 Venezuela Review
2007 Retun to San Blas